World Snooker: NINE things about finalist Ding Junhiu

Ding Junhui is through to the final of the Betfred Snooker World Championships
Ding Junhui is through to the final of the Betfred Snooker World Championships

Ding Junhui will contest the Betfred World Championship final for the first time after a brilliant victory over Alan McManus.

It ends years of waiting for Ding at snooker's most prestigious tournament, where he had developed a reputation as an underachiever.

China has a Crucible finalist for the first time, and here are nine key facts to know about Ding.

1. At home in the Steel City

Ding lives with wife Apple in Sheffield, his home for the last 10 years, and practises at the Star Academy which is based at Sheffield United's training headquarters.

2. Learning from the best in the business

He is coached by Terry Griffiths, the 1979 world champion, and has credited the acclaimed 68-year-old Welshman with training his mind to be prepared for the biggest matches.

3. Maximum pedigree

He has made six 147 maximum breaks in his career, with the first as a 19-year-old in the 2007 Masters and the most recent at the Welsh Open this year.

4. A Rocket from Ronnie

He made a century in his debut Crucible first-round match in 2007, but suffered a 10-2 defeat to Ronnie O'Sullivan.

5. Coming of age

In the week of his 18th birthday, he beat Stephen Hendry 9-5 to win the 2005 China Open, his first major tournament victory.

6. A popular potter

He has 4.5million followers on Weibo, China's leading social media network.

7. So young, so brilliant

He became World Under-21 champion at the age of 15 in 2002.

8. Off the table

Away from snooker, he is a big fan of computer games and Jackie Chan martial arts films.

9. United he stands

When he first came to England, Ding was a Liverpool supporter but has since switched allegiance to Manchester United.